Klugh brothers put Viking offense on their shoulders

Hasaan and Jamaal Klugh grew up playing football together. Only a year apart, the brothers are excited about doing so yet again.

"I'm glad I get to play with him," said Hasaan, Central Cabarrus' starting quarterback. "I've sort of missed it."

After being the team's back-up quarterback last season, Jamaal, 16, didn't mind moving aside to allow his younger brother to step into his apparent role after leading the Viking junior varsity team to a 5-5 record as a freshman last year.

Jamaal should be a key factor for the Vikings, as he moves to the slot.

"Receiver is my best position because it gets me in space and I feel it allows me to help the team more this year," the junior said.

Having varsity experience, Jamaal has been giving his brother advice to get him relaxed. Hasaan admits although they don't fight on the field, they hold each other to higher standards.

"I push Jamaal a lot harder because he's my brother and I know he can take it," the 15-year-old said.

Central Cabarrus coach Chris Shinn has noticed that.

"There's a bit of competition between them from time to time, but I know they both want each other to be successful," said Shinn. "I think they complement each other pretty well."

Shinn added he's been impressed by the brothers' dedication and athleticism this summer.

"If they continue to work hard, their ability and potential will just continue to grow," said Shinn.

Shinn said Jamaal is a more instinctive player, who also stands out because of his speed and agility, while he describes Hasaan as more cerebral - something that became clear as he watched the sophomore play last season.

"He did some things you don't usually see out of freshmen - the ability to read defenses, to check things at the line of scrimmage," said Shinn. "On varsity, the game is going to get a lot faster and the guys are going to get a little bit bigger, but I think we can build off some of the things we saw from him last year."

Jamaal should also see time at other offensive skill positions, including behind center, and at safety.

"You can put that kid anywhere on the field," said Shinn.

He said he expects big things from the Klughs as the Vikings look for some success this season, adding that they have other hard-working athletes to complement them.

"I feel like we're improved from last year and even from last week," said Shinn. "That's all you can ask for going into your season: constant improvement."

For Jamaal, this season is all about giving Viking fans their first win in nearly four years.

"If we win our first game, then we'll know what that's like and we can carry it on to the next game," he said. "When we get that win, everything's going to change."

Hasaan agreed, saying that's a real possibility for Central.

"We're coming together as a team - as a family - which is exactly what we need to be successful this year," said Hasaan.